Kamaleya: Bugisu’s special delicacy hits Korean market

Kamalea, Kamalewa, Kamaleya, ilea,
Bugisu's Bamboo shoots, locally known as kamalea. PHOTO / Courtesy

Mbale, (UG): Bugisu’s popular dish from bamboo shoots locally known as Kamaleya have secured an international market with the special delicacy now set to be exported to South Korea, on the Asian continent.

According to a report by local newspaper; Monitor, the edible bamboo shoots will be exported by members of Mbale City Trader Association (Mbacita) in a move aimed at bolstering bi-lateral trade between Uganda and the Asian nation.

Mr James Netalishe, the vice chairman of Mbacita while revealing the good news over the weekend at the Korea-Uganda business expo in Kampala said that vendors will hope to exploit the virgin market with attractive prices contrast to the rate they sell to Ugandans locally.

“We believe that if we are selling bamboo in Uganda at Shs10,000, we shall sell at a higher price in Korea when we add value to them,” Mr Netalishe said.

Bugisu’s Bamboo shoots, locally known as kamalea. PHOTO / Courtesy

Mr Lee Song Wo, the secretary to Korea business forum, said products from the Elgon region have always found a market in the Korean republic and therefore this new development is a lucrative deal to both parties.

“Elgon products, mainly coffee and bamboo products, are marketable in Korea, and many young people like coffee, especially from the Elgon area, mainly Arabica coffee and in a day Korean people consume about six to seven cups,” Mr Song revealed.

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“The coffee market in Korea is big and it has been one of the products we are exporting to Korea,” he added.

Mr Lee revealed that currently they are working on a Korea-Uganda promotion website “so that Korean buyers can have direct access to Uganda products. The farmers who are exhibiting here will benefit directly without going through brokers”.

“We need to diversify in many different items and not only coffee…we shall find out which products are marketable to the Korea market,” Mr Lee added.

According to a WhatsApp group known as What’s up Mbale, this delicacy is called “kamaleya”, not “malewa” and if it’s one, it’s called “Lilea”.

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The other bamboo products from Bugisu Sub-region include cups, bottles, among others.

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